Walton, “Old Testament Theology for Christians”

Walton, "Old Testament Theology for Christians" coverDue out next month from InterVarsity Press is John Walton’s Old Testament Theology for Christians: From Ancient Context to Enduring Belief. According to the book’s blub,

Walton unfolds a grand panorama of Yahweh and the gods, of cosmos and humanity, of covenant and kingdom, of temple and torah, of sin and evil, and of salvation and afterlife. Viewed within its ancient Near Eastern cognitive environment, the text takes unexpected turns and blossoms into fresh and challenging insights. No matter how you are accustomed to viewing the first testament of the Bible, Old Testament Theology for Christians will challenge and sharpen your perceptions.

For additional information or to pre-order, see InterVarsity, Amazon, or other book sellers.

Levy, “Medieval Biblical Interpretation”

Levy, "Medieval Biblical Interpretation" coverDue out from Baker Academic in February 2018 is Ian Levy’s Introducing Medieval Biblical Interpretation: The Senses of Scripture in Premodern Exegesis. According to the book’s blub,

Does medieval hermeneutics have continuing relevance in an age dominated by the historical-critical method? Ian Christopher Levy asserts that it does. Levy shows that we must affirm both the irreversible advances made by the historical-critical method and the church’s lasting commitment to the deeper spiritual senses beyond the immediate historical circumstances of the text.

In Introducing Medieval Biblical Interpretation, Levy explains that medieval exegetes, like modern practitioners of the historical-critical method, were attuned to the nuances of ancient languages, textual variations, and cultural contexts in which the biblical books were produced. Yet these early interpreters did not stop after establishing the literal, historical sense of the text. Presupposing as they did the divine authorship of Holy Scripture, medieval exegetes maintained that the God of history imbued events, places, and people with spiritual significance so that they could point beyond themselves to deeper salvific realities. There is much meaning to be discovered through the techniques of medieval hermeneutics.

For more information or to pre-order, see Baker Academic, Amazon, or other book sellers.

Moberly, “The Bible in a Disenchanted Age”

Moberly, "The Bible in a Disenchanted Age" coverDue out from Baker Academic in January 2018 is R. W. L. Moberly’s The Bible in a Disenchanted Age: The Enduring Possibility of Christian Faith. According to the book’s blub,

In our increasingly disenchanted age, can we still regard the Bible as God’s Word? Why should we consider the Bible trustworthy and dare to believe what it says? In this creative, accessible, and provocative book, leading Old Testament theologian R. W. L. Moberly sets forth his case for regarding the Bible as unlike any other book (and the Bible’s Deity as unlike any other deity) by exploring the differences between the Bible and other ancient writings. He explains how and why it makes sense to turn to the Bible with the expectation of finding ultimate truth in it, offering a robust apology for faith in the God of the Bible that’s fully engaged with critical scholarship and compatible with modern knowledge.

For additional information or to pre-order, see Baker Academic, Amazon, or other book sellers.

“Explorations in interdisciplinary reading” is out

Recently released under Wipf and Stock’s Pickwick imprint is Explorations in Interdisciplinary Reading: Theological, Exegetical, and Reception-historical Perspectives, edited by Robbie Castleman, Darian Lockett, and Stephen Presley. The volume includes essays assembled from the Institute for Biblical Research’s recently concluded study group on Biblical Theology, Hermeneutics, and Theological Disciplines. A key among the essays in the volume is the interplay between Scripture as situated in its own historical contexts and its continuing reception as a canonical whole.

The volume’s ten essays are:

  • Andrew J. Schmutzer, “The Suffering of God: Love in Willing Vulnerability”
  • J. Richard Middleton, “A Psalm against David? A Canonical Reading of Psalm 51 as a Critique of David’s Inadequate Repentance in 2 Samuel 12”
  • J. David Stark, “Rewriting Torah Obedience in Romans for the Church”
  • Darian Lockett, “‘Necessary but not Suffcient’: The Role of History in the Interpretation of James as Christian Scripture”
  • D. Jeffrey Bingham, “Against Historicism: The Rule of Faith, Scripture, and Baptismal Historiography in Second-Century Lyons”
  • Stephen O. Presley, “From Catechesis to Exegesis: The Hermeneutical
    Shaping of Catechetical Formation in Irenaeus of Lyons”
  • Lissa M. Wray Beal, “Land Entry and Possession in Origen’s Homilies on Joshua: Deep Reading for the Christian Life”
  • Craig Blaising, “Integrating Systematic and Biblical Theology: Creation as a Test Case”
  • Susan I. Bubbers, “A Guiding Principle and Question-based Strategy for Integrating Biblical Systematic and Practical Disciplines”
  • Gregory S. MaGee, “Biblical Theology in the Service of Ecumenism: Eschatology as a Case Study”

For more information or to order the volume, please see its product pages on Wipf and Stock’s website, Amazon, or other booksellers.

Biblical references in writing theology

Earlier this month, Rick Brannan posted an analysis of the most frequently cited in a selection of systematic theologies. Rick has since made available on his blog the bibliography of systematic theologies that fed this analysis.

Meanwhile, Christianity Today picked up the post for further discussion. According to CT,

Perhaps most interesting—and potentially disturbing—is the dearth of Old Testament references among the 100 most-cited verses. This raises the question of whether the Old Testament is necessary for Christian theology, and whether it should be included in systematic theology more often.

Is such a strong preference for the same key verses, especially those in the New Testament, a problem in systematic theology? CT asked experts to weigh in.

There then follows a paragraph each from Kevin Vanhoozer, Craig Keener, John Stackhause, Michael Bird, Michael Allen, and William Dyrness.

Now Brannan has followed up at theLAB with the promised corresponding analysis for biblical theologies. This new analysis comments in part,

What is immediately striking to me is the frequency of Old Testament references. Systematic theologies had nine OT references in the top 100. In Biblical theologies, seven of the top ten references are from the Old Testament, and 29 of the top 100.

Twenty-nine is markedly larger than nine. But, the still-substantial slant to the New Testament perhaps suggests a tendency to do primarily “New Testament biblical theology” in practice, if not always in title. As a balancing resource, perhaps we need a new sub-publishing genre of “Old Testament biblical theology”?

Biblical references in systematic theologies

At theLAB, Rick Brannan has an interesting post about the most frequently cited verses in a selection of systematic theologies. Especially by comparison with the size of the two testaments, New Testament references vastly outnumber Old Testament references (90% to 10% in the top 100 most frequently cited texts). As a supplement to the analysis, it might also be interesting to see a bibliography of the exact systematic theologies involved in the accounting would be interesting, as well as whether there would be some way of calculating whether the sample size is large enough to be statistically significant (e.g., within the publication date ranges represented).

Rick promises “a follow-up post that uses the same approach to Biblical Theologies.” That post is sure to provide some interesting results too. Meanwhile, see the full text of Rick’s current post at theLAB.

Bates at theLAB, part 2

Bates, Over at the Logos Academic Blog, Tavis Bohlinger now has up the second part of his interview with Matthew Bates about his Salvation by Allegiance Alone: Rethinking Faith, Works, and the Gospel of Jesus the King (Baker, 2017).  This interview portion focuses much more on Bates’s particular proposal in the volume.

For previous related discussion, see Other discussion of Bates, “Salvation by allegiance,”  Bates interview at theLAB, and Bates, “Salvation by allegiance alone” and some theological forebears.

Castleman, Lockett, and Presley, eds., “Explorations in interdisciplinary reading”

Due out this year under Wipf and Stock’s Pickwick imprint is Explorations in Interdisciplinary Reading: Theological, Exegetical, and Reception-historical Perspectives, edited by Robbie Castleman, Darian Lockett, and Stephen Presley. The volume includes essays assembled through the Institute for Biblical Research’s recently concluded study group on Biblical Theology, Hermeneutics, and Theological Disciplines. A key among the essays in the volume is the interplay between Scripture as situated in its own historical contexts and its continuing reception as a canonical whole.

The volume’s ten essays are:

  • Andrew J. Schmutzer, “The Suffering of God: Love in Willing Vulnerability”
  • J. Richard Middleton, “A Psalm against David? A Canonical Reading of Psalm 51 as a Critique of David’s Inadequate Repentance in 2 Samuel 12”
  • J. David Stark, “Rewriting Torah Obedience in Romans for the Church”
  • Darian Lockett, “‘Necessary but not Suffcient’: The Role of History in the Interpretation of James as Christian Scripture”
  • D. Jeffrey Bingham, “Against Historicism: The Rule of Faith, Scripture, and Baptismal Historiography in Second-Century Lyons”
  • Stephen O. Presley, “From Catechesis to Exegesis: The Hermeneutical
    Shaping of Catechetical Formation in Irenaeus of Lyons”
  • Lissa M. Wray Beal, “Land Entry and Possession in Origen’s Homilies on Joshua: Deep Reading for the Christian Life”
  • Craig Blaising, “Integrating Systematic and Biblical Theology: Creation as a Test Case”
  • Susan I. Bubbers, “A Guiding Principle and Question-based Strategy for Integrating Biblical Systematic and Practical Disciplines”
  • Gregory S. MaGee, “Biblical Theology in the Service of Ecumenism: Eschatology as a Case Study”

Hopefully, readers will find my essay will be helpful too. But, based on the preliminary version I read, Susan Bubbers’s contribution is particularly stimulating and thought-provoking in the question-based method that it proposes for theological and practical integration.

It looks like the volume may not yet be up on Wipf and Stock’s website, but it is available on Amazon for pre-order.

Wright, “Following Jesus” for free

N. T. Wright, This month, Logos Bible Software’s free book is N. T. Wright’s Following Jesus: Biblical Reflections on Christian Discipleship (SPCK, 1994). The book falls into two parts:

Part one outlines the essential messages of six major New Testament books—Hebrews, Colossians, Matthew, John, Mark, and Revelation. Part two examines six key New Testament themes—resurrection, rebirth, temptation, hell, heaven, and new life—and considers their significance for the lives of present-day disciples.

The companion volume for $1.99 is Wright’s Who Was Jesus? (SPCK, 1991).

HT: LogosTalk